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Celebrating Kosovo’s 16th Independence Anniversary in New York City


New York City’s municipality honored Kosovo’s 16th Independence Anniversary in a grand ceremony at City Hall. Led by council members Adrienne E. Adams, Robert F. Holden, Joseph C. Borrelli, David Carr, and Kristy Marmorato, the event was a testament to solidarity and support for Kosovo’s journey.

Attendees, including diaspora members, activists, businessmen, representatives of various associations, and academic figures, gathered to commemorate the milestone. Among them were former fighters from the Atlantic Battalion of the “Kosovo Liberation Army” in America, including Commander Gani Shehu.

The ceremony commenced with ceremonial flag bearers from the Illyrian Society within the New York Police Department, followed by the national anthems of the United States, Albania, and Kosovo beautifully performed by Dea Kërliu.

Mark Gjonaj, spearheading the event, emphasized Kosovo’s significance, especially in challenging times. He called for continued support and solidarity with Kosovo, urging all to honor its history and sacrifices.

Ambassador Blerim Reka highlighted Kosovo’s success story in democratic state-building and its strong ties with the United States. He emphasized the continuous struggle for national liberation and historical connections with the U.S.

Despite ongoing challenges, Reka expressed hope for international recognition, echoing sentiments shared by many attendees, including Council Member Robert F. Holden, who praised the unwavering commitment of Albanian-Americans in New York City.

The ceremony closed with the emotional rendition of Adem Jashari’s anthem, “Mora Fjalë,” uniting attendees in a powerful display of cultural pride and solidarity. Performances by various Albanian cultural groups added color and vibrancy to the celebration, underscoring the rich heritage and resilience of Kosovo and its people.

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